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Tag: Sexual Abuse

Black Collar Crime: Dr. David Smock Accused of Molesting Child at IFB Boarding School

dr david smock

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Dr. David Smock, the physician for Agape Boarding School in Stockton, Missouri, stands accused of sodomizing and molesting a fourteen-year-old boy. Other alleged sex crimes in other states are currently being investigated. Agape Boarding school is a “ministry” of Agape Baptist Church — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution. Agape Baptist is pastored by James Clemensen. (Please read the school’s Parent Handbook. Be prepared to weep.)

The Kansas City Star reports:

Longtime Agape Boarding School doctor David Smock groomed the young male student he is accused of sodomizing and molesting, buying him a cellphone, taking his family on trips and throwing him birthday parties, according to court records obtained by The Star. Those details, including child sex allegations against Smock from two other states that go back decades, are outlined in a probable cause statement The Star received Monday. The affidavit describes three felonies filed by Greene County prosecutors on Thursday, the same day a judge signed an arrest warrant for the 57-year-old doctor.

Authorities confirmed to The Star that Smock was still at large Monday afternoon. “For years, David E. Smock groomed Juvenile by inviting him over to his (Smock) home located in Jerico Springs where he could play video games, use the gym and basketball court, purchasing a cell phone for him, providing gifts, money, and promised cars once he turned 16 years of age,” the affidavit says.

Smock also “took Juvenile and his family on outings to arcades, trips to places such as Silver Dollar City and Incredible Pizza and hosted birthday parties for Juvenile,” the document says.

According to the affidavit, Smock provided medical treatment — including physicals — for the students. The boy and his mother began having contact with Smock in 2013-2014, it says. Her son first met Smock during a gym night. The investigation began on Oct. 7, 2020, when Heidi Fox, an investigator with the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team, received a request from an investigator with the Missouri Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division regarding a child molestation case reported to the Cedar County Sheriff. The case involved a 14-year-old male who disclosed to the Children’s Division in 2020 “that he was touched inappropriately when he was thirteen years of age by a fifty six year old white male identified as David E. Smock,” the affidavit says.

Cedar County Sheriff James “Jimbob” McCrary did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Agape leader Bryan Clemensen also has not responded to requests for comment. Smock began spending more time with the boy to be a “father figure” to him, according to the affidavit, and then began taking him to and from school. He threw birthday parties for the boy’s 12th, 13th and 14th birthdays and eventually convinced the boy’s mother to allow her son to move into Smock’s home. The boy lived with Smock, the affidavit says, from age 13 until just before his 15th birthday. When the boy was 13 and in Smock’s care, the doctor took him from Cedar County to Springfield to help clean a rental property Smock owned, the document says. “Juvenile disclosed while at this location, he was instructed by David E. Smock to pull his own pants down, when Juvenile did not, David E. Smock instructed him to pull his pants down two additional times,” according to the affidavit. “David E. Smock touched Juvenile’s penis with his hand and held Juvenile’s penis with his hand.” Smock was charged Thursday in Greene County Circuit Court with three felonies — one count of second-degree statutory sodomy regarding a child; third-degree molestation of a child younger than 14 years of age; and enticement or attempted enticement of a child younger than 15.

….

As a physician, Smock is required by law to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Smock came to Missouri from Arizona and in 2006 built an 11-bedroom mansion with an indoor pool and gymnasium in rural Cedar County between Stockton and Jerico Springs. That location at 6360 E. 1570 Road, which Smock uses as his home and business addresses, also houses Legacy Academy Adventures, a Christian boarding school for boys ages 9-15. Legacy is run by Brent Jackson, who has close ties to Smock and was an Agape staffer for 18 years, part of that time serving as its dean of students. Jackson left Agape in 2018. According to the probable cause statement obtained Monday, while interviewing people about the Missouri allegations, the state investigator said she received police reports about Smock from California and Arizona dating back to the late 1980s.

In a June 6, 2007, document from Gonzales, California, police interviewed Smock regarding a child cruelty case. At that time, Smock told authorities that he and his six children — some of them adopted — slept in the same room but he slept in his bed alone. The report also indicated there was an empty second bedroom and that an adult female and her young children were staying in a third bedroom, the probable cause affidavit says. “The adult female had ended a relationship with David E. Smock previously due to David E. Smock’s ‘controlling behaviors,’” the affidavit says. “And at the time of this report (she) was an employee at his clinic. She reported being fearful of David E. Smock and that she may lose her job, as she was informed by David E. Smock if any of his employees speak to the police, he would terminate their employment. “One of the juveniles provided information to the police regarding the sleeping arrangements of the children, specifically David E. Smock sleeping in bed with one of the juvenile boys aged fifteen years old.” At the time of the police report in 2007, Smock was a licensed physician and surgeon in California.

The Gonzales, California, Police Department also discovered four more reports about Smock. Those reports were made to other law enforcement and state agencies regarding sexually inappropriate behavior with children under 16, the affidavit says. Gonzales officers discovered that a report was made to the San Diego Police Department in 1988 regarding David E. Smock being identified as a suspect in a child molestation investigation. Details of that case were not included in the Greene County affidavit obtained Monday. In another case discovered by California authorities, the Marine Family Advocacy in Yuma, Arizona, told Gonzales police about a 1997 report that two juvenile males alleged Smock walked around the house nude in front of them during a visit to his residence in 1994-1995. The report said Smock showered with the two juvenile boys in 1996. The Gonzales officer contacted Yuma, Arizona, Child Protective Services and was informed of a report made in 1998 alleging Smock altered the use of the hot water heater and stove in a home he owned that was being occupied by his estranged wife. “The report documents David E. Smock made comments regarding selling his daughters because he only wanted to keep the juvenile son,” according to the Greene County affidavit. “The male child was interviewed and stated he sleeps in a bed with David E. Smock.”

A 1996 case out of the police department in Yuma, said that two 12-year-old boys and their mother reported Smock for “sexually inappropriate behavior.” It said Smock was their neighbor and had purchased several expensive items for the boys and provided “vitamins” for them to take. “The two juvenile boys reported to the Police Department that while spending the night at David E. Smock’s residence, he informed them they can sleep naked and offered to give one of the juvenile boys a ‘physical,’” the Greene County affidavit says. “The mother of the two juveniles reported to the police that she observes several children at David E. Smock’s residence because he has a pool.” That mother said tarps had been placed over the fence tops surrounding Smock’s back yard in Arizona. “When David E. Smock was interviewed by the Police,” the affidavit says, “he is reported to have stated he tried to tell the mother of the boys ‘that he really loved children.’”

In September 2021, five workers at Agape Boarding School were accused of assault.

KY-3 reported:

The Cedar County prosecutor filed charges against several workers of the Agape boarding school near Stockton after accusations of abuse.

In all, five faces charges. They include:

-Seth Duncan: 5 counts of third-degree assault

-Scott Dumar: 4 counts of third-degree assault

-Trent Hartman: 2 counts of third-degree assault

-Christopher McElroy: 1 count of third-degree assault

-Everett Graves: 1 count of third-degree assault

Former students accuse workers of the school of assault and other abuse. Former student Colton Schrag says he’s disheartened to see only five people charged in this investigation.

“The message should’ve been we hear you, we’re gonna try to protect you and help you get out of this situation and then we’re gonna shut it down,” Schrag says. “But the message we received was we’ll do the bare minimum to get you off our backs but we don’t actually really care about you guys.”

Operators advertise Agape as a national boarding school for at-risk or unmotivated boys. The campus is also home to Agape Baptist Church. When it comes to troubled teenage boys, Schrag says they’re often overlooked and people may not be as open to hearing their stories.

”If I was to speak out at that time like I did, ‘Hey they’re beating on us,’ it kind of just fell on deaf ears,” Schrag says. “You automatically think like what did that kid do. He’s there for a reason he’s not a good kid.”

Schrag spent three-and-a-half years at Agape. During his time there, Schrag says students endured physical, mental, and psychological abuse.

“From getting drug out of your bunk into the hallway with staff members elbowing you, hitting you, kneeing you, and slamming you onto the ground,” Schrag says. “Even also some of them withholding meals from you or putting you on a small portion so you can’t eat like the rest of the students.”

Boyd and Stephanie Householder face 100 criminal abuse charges as the owners of the Circle of Hope Ranch. Their daughter, Amanda Householder, says the couple worked at Agape before opening their school.

“My dad learned at Agape how to restrain the students, how to withhold their food, their water,” Householder says. “Basically, Agape is the blueprint for Circle of Hope.”

The Missouri Attorney General’s office identified 65 criminal counts against 22 co-defendants. Those charges included abuse of a child, failure to report child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with a victim, and assault. However, the Cedar County prosecutor charged five defendants with multiple counts of assault.

“It’s not even a slap on the wrist for Agape,” Householder says. “It’s a slap in the face for the victims of Agape.”

The Missouri Highway Patrol says it began its investigation into allegations of abuse and neglect at the facility in late February.

According to Householder, some of the people charged were former students at Agape.

“They were just doing what they were brainwashed to do from childhood,” Householder says. “They were students and then they turned staff. It’s very angering to me that the people who forced the people to act the way they’re acting are not being charged.”

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Muslim Tutor Muhammad Hasan Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Two Girls

muhammad hasan

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2018, Muhammad Hasan, a Muslim business owner who offered private Quran instruction, was accused of sexually abusing two female students.

The Oregonian reported at the time:

Investigators have arrested a man who’s accused of abusing two girls who were clients of his religious instruction business, Tigard police say.

Muhammad L. Hasan ran AICQ (American Islamic Center for the Holy Quran), a Tigard business that offered private Quran instruction, the city’s police department said in a news release. He was indicted last week and arrested Wednesday.

Hasan’s indictment lists six counts of first-degree sex abuse and a single count of third-degree sex abuse. He’s accused of kissing one of the girls on multiple occasions and touching another’s breast or breasts, according to the document.

In January 2019, Hasan pleaded guilty to two child sex abuse charges involving two girls who were his students. One was 17 years old, the other was 9 years old. Hasan was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

KGW-8 reported:

A man who taught children about the Quran at his private business in Tigard is going to prison for four years after pleading guilty to sex abuse charges.

Last month, Muhammad Hasan pleaded guilty to two child sex abuse charges involving two girls who were his students. One was 17 years old, the other was 9 years old.

Megan Johnson, senior deputy district attorney for Washington County, said the 17-year-old felt “shocked, confused, guilty, stuck, and frozen” during the abuse. Before the investigation, the two girls did not know about what was happening to the other. Both studied Quran memorization with Hasan for a year or two at his business, the American Islamic Center for the Holy Quran (AICQ). The abuse occurred in Hasan’s office in 2016.

Tigard police heard about the incidents involving both girls around the same time in 2017 and began investigating.

Johnson said through the course of the investigation, detectives found similar reports against Hasan in Vancouver, Washington. Detectives were met with road blocks. The situation had been handled within the community. Hasan was no longer teaching in the Vancouver Muslim community, and it seemed no one wanted to officially go on the record to make a report.

Now, investigators are worried that there could be more victims.

Johnson said this particular child sex abuse case is the most difficult one she, her office, and the Tigard Police Department have encountered. People have been hesitant to speak out about such a well-loved person.

But on Friday, Judge Theodore Sims handed down Hasan’s sentence: four years in prison. He is now a registered sex offender for life. Hasan is not allowed to have contact with any minors, with the exception of his 16-year-old daughter.

Throughout his sentencing, Hasan sat stoic with an interpreter beside him.

“This is a sad case for so, so, many reasons,” said Johnson as she began speaking in court.

“The pain [the victims] have suffered at his hands is remarkable,” she said.

The pain is from both the abuse, but also the violation of trust. Hasan was adored and trusted in the community.

“That enabled you to victimize some kids and got you into a position of trust in the community, which you violated,” said Judge Sims told Hasan.

Hasan’s lawyer, in court, asked the judge to factor in the good he has done in the community in trying to bridge the gap between Muslims and people of different faiths. Hasan briefly spoke through his interpreter.

He said he would make his best effort to be a good citizen and serve the community when he is released from jail. Hasan touched on his religious goals, that people of different faiths live in harmony.

He also requested that he serve out his time in the Washington County Jail, and if he had to go to prison, he wanted to have his own cell.

Johnson said it’s unlikely he’ll get what he wants. At no time did Hasan apologize.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Javyon George-Boatman Convicted of Sexual Misconduct With a Minor

busted

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2017, Javyon George-Boatman, who may or may not have been a youth worker at Family Christian Center in Munster, Indiana, was arrested Wednesday and charged with  “three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.”

Times reporters Steve Garrison and Lauren Cross had this to say about George-Boatman’s arrest:

A 22-year-old man who previously attended Family Christian Center in Munster is accused of having sex at the church with a 14-year-old girl.
Javyon M. George-Boatman was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to court records.
Court records listed George-Boatman as a youth leader at the church, but John Ponder, the pastor of Christian Education and Pastoral Care, told The Times on Thursday that George-Boatman is not a youth leader, nor did he serve the church in any official capacity.

The church barred George-Boatman from accessing church property immediately after learning of the allegations, Ponder said.

The girl told police in an interview June 26 that she first met the defendant during music practice at Family Christian Center, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She said George-Boatman kissed her on Palm Sunday at the church, and the physical contact escalated until she agreed to have sex with him in a church closet on April 23, the affidavit states.

She said they had sex at least 10 more times at the church between April 23 and June 7, the affidavit states.

The church’s pastor, Steve Munsey, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ponder said the victim confided in a church elder, who encouraged the girl to tell her father. The female elder supported the girl’s decision and volunteered to accompany her, Ponder said. The father then contacted police, Ponder said.

“We’re very fastidious about such things. We find this abhorrent, immoral and against the law and totally intolerable,” Ponder said, noting the church conducts background checks before anyone can serve in an official capacity.

In 2019, Boatman was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: “Dr.” David Tee Says Rape and Sexual Abuse Are Mistakes and Errors in Judgment

dr david tee

We are writing this as BG continues [and I shall continue to do so as long as clerics commit crimes] his Black collar series. He likes [Actually, I don’t like it. Doing so is a necessary burden, one which often makes me feel like I have been wading in a septic tank.] to point out the ‘sins’ of Christians even though he declares there is no such thing as sin. [Yes, and that’s why the series is about “crimes,” not “sins.” Tee knows this because I have explained it to him several times, yet he continues to lie about and misrepresent my views — which, of course, he will deny doing so.]

But, pointing out other people’s mistakes, errors in judgment, and other problems [crimes, David, crimes] doesn’t help anyone [actually it validates the experiences of victims and lets them know others care about what they have gone through]. It only makes the person doing look bad, hate-filled, and antagonistic.

It doesn’t help their reputation either and only inflames the problems between believer and unbeliever. [No, Tee is the only one with enflamed hemorrhoids over the Black Collar Crime Series. Most people appreciate me calling attention to crimes committed by so-called men of God.] We suggest that atheists and BG start removing the beams from their eyes. [ David, by all means, start a blog that reports on criminal behavior by atheists. Show me the “beams.” I have never raped or sexually assaulted anyone. I have never sexually molested children. Have I ever committed a crime? Sure. Who hasn’t — in the strictest sense of the word. I’ve committed a few misdemeanors over the years, but no felonies.] maybe then they would see Christians in a better light. [We see Christianity as it is. And trust me, David, when you are in the picture, all we see is violence and ugliness. Defending rapists, perverts, and child molesters! Dude, you need to get saved!]

They may not want to as they may find out the truth that they are wrong and that may scare them to an early grave. [sigh]

….

Finally, make sure to obey Jesus and get the beams out of your eyes so you do not end up like BG, atheists, and bad Christians [like David Tee]. You need to see clearly [believe as David Tee does] before you can help others do the same [defend rapists, perverts, and child molesters].

— “Dr. David Tee (David Thiessen, TheologyArcheology/TEWSNBM), Theologyarcheology: A Site for the Glory of God, Misc. Topics, December 20, 2021

I have previously addressed Tee’s defense of criminal behavior in a post titled David Tee Defends Christian Rapists and Sexual Predators.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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He Told the Globe

guest post

Guest Post by MJ Lisbeth

It was exactly what I would have feared.

It was exactly what he feared.

His mother passed away without knowing two things about him. At least, he had never mentioned them to her. Now he was about to tell one of them to his father — like mine, a blue-collar Italian American of the generation that gave birth to Baby Boomers.

His mother had worked as a secretary. So did mine, among other jobs. My mother went to her grave having learned of one of my secrets, which is often conflated with his. My father learned of that secret — or, more precisely, truth — about me the same day, when I was about the same age as the man who is the subject of this post.

I am a transgender woman. He was gay. At the time of his fateful encounter with his father, that was still enough to make him a pariah, at least in some circles. That, and that he had AIDS. I have lost eighteen people to the disease — five of them between Memorial Day and Christmas in 1991. At that time, getting infected was a death sentence in every sense of the word: You lost your job, possibly your family and friends, and much else, before you lost your very life.

Of course, I consider myself fortunate not to have been afflicted with HIV. But if there ever was anything good to be said for it — especially in those days — it focused its victims, at least some of them. They did not fuck around; they knew they had no time for bullshit.

Which is why he had that conversation with his father. In the early 1960s, a boy named Phil Saviano attended St. Denis church in the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts: the locale of the College of the Holy Cross (Justice Clarence Thomas’ alma mater). Later in that decade, I was an altar boy in the Catholic church nearly everyone in my blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood attended.

By now, you may have guessed (especially if you’ve read some of my earlier posts) what I’m about to say next. Phil and I were sexually abused by priests. To this day, I have not talked about it with my father or anyone in my family. But he would tell his father, some three decades after his experience. Not only that, believing that he was dying of AIDS, he revealed that he was about to talk with reporters from the Boston Globe.

His father was furious. “He couldn’t understand why in the world I would want to do that,” he recalled. For a decade, they were at a standoff over the issue. Then their parish, St. Denis printed a message in its church bulletin urging people to come forward if they had been abused. His father sent him the bulletin.

Turns out, the Reverend David A. Holley had ingratiated himself to a number of young boys, including Phil. A year before he had the conversation with his father — and Globe reporters — Saviano read a newspaper article saying that Father Holley had been sued in New Mexico for sexually molesting other boys. Until that time, he’d thought he and his friends had been the only victims.

If you saw the 2015 film “Spotlight,” this story — or, at least parts of it — may sound familiar. Shortly after meeting with Globe journalists, he asked officials at the Worcester Diocese to pay for his therapy. When they refused, Saviano sued the diocese. In the early stages of the case, he learned that seven bishops in four states had known that Father Holley, whom the church secretly sent to four different church-run treatment centers, was a serial child molester. (In 1993, Father Holley was sentenced to up to 275 years in prison in New Mexico. In 2009, still incarcerated at 80 years old, he died.) Church officials offered him a modest sum to settle the case on the condition that he sign a confidentiality agreement. He refused. “I’m not going to my grave with that secret,” he explained. “It would make me no better than the bishops.”

Finally, the church gave Saviano a $12,500 settlement and dropped the demand that he sign a non-disclosure agreement. “I think they figured I wasn’t going to be around much longer,” he said. But, by then, powerful new anti-AIDS treatments had been developed and he lived until last Sunday. He was 69 years old.

When you realize Phil lived for nearly three decades after the settlement, that amount of money isn’t nearly the windfall that it seems to be. If his life has any more parallels to mine than I’ve already mentioned, he’s spent at least that much on therapists and, possibly, medical help for conditions caused or exacerbated by his trauma. Also, while I don’t know much about him, it wouldn’t surprise me if, prior to coming forward, he’d lost jobs and educational opportunities as well as experiences with values that can’t be calculated at least in part because of his experiences. That he accomplished what he did is astounding: During the nearly three decades after his revelation, he advocated tirelessly for people like me and, among other things, founded a survivors’ network.

So, although Phil Saviano had to experience, at least for a time, exactly what I’d (and he’d) feared, he survived and showed us that we could do exactly what our abusers and their enablers didn’t want: Tell the truth about them and, most important, ourselves. (That is the essence of the “Me Too” movement.) It’s no exaggeration that it’s the (or at least a) reason why some of us are alive today.

He faced what he, what I, feared, what so many fear. If that doesn’t define a hero, I don’t know what does.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Ricky Torcise Accused of Sexually Molesting Teen Boy

ricky torcise

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Ricky Torcise, a youth pastor at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, Florida, stands accused of sexually molesting a 17-year-old male church teenager.

Channel 10 reports:

Detectives fear Rick Torcise, of the Redlands, could have groomed and abused other teenagers. A 17-year-old boy reported he met him as a church youth leader, Torcise gave him a job, groomed him for months, and sexually abused him on Oct. 16.

Torcise, 67, a well-known entrepreneur, is a title trustee of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, Inc., and a youth leader there. He was also the manager of Florida Legends Baseball.

“This is a person that the community trusts, this is a person that parents trust to guide their children,” said Detective Argemis Colome, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department. “We’re asking anybody that may have had any interaction with this individual … this is the time to give us a call.”

Attorney John Priovolos is representing the teenage boy who answered detectives’ questions about Torcise’s abuse. Priovolos said sexual predators target the vulnerable and sometimes have enablers.

“We believe that there may be other victims, and if so, they must know that they are not alone,” Priovolos said in a longer statement on Thursday.

Channel 4 adds:

According to Miami-Dade Police investigators, 67-year-old Ricky Torcise is a youth leader at the church where the 17-year-old victim attends in Homestead. Torcise is also his employer, according to the arrest report.

The crime reportedly happened at Torcise’s home in Southwest Miami-Dade.

The teenage victim stated that he was fondled multiple times by Torcise for a period of four months. He also told police the fondling escalated to sex acts, according to the report.

….

In Bond court, Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer ordered Torcise to have no contact with the victim.

“That is no contact with the child, either directly or indirectly or in person, in writing, by telephone or through 3rd parties and no contact with the victim through social media or electronic means. You must stay at least 500 feet away from the victim’s home and do not engage in any criminal activity and do no possess or use any drugs. Do not use of possess a gun or firearm.”

Glazer added another requirement.

“No contact with any child under the age of 18 and with regard to any contact with any children who may be yours you are to have no unsupervised contact with them.”

Torcise was arrested earlier this week and charged with a felony count of sexual act with a child.

The Miami Herald adds:

A South Dade businessman and elder leader at a Homestead church has been arrested on allegations he molested an underage teen boy. Rick Torcise, 67, whose family has long been prominent in the Homestead area, was charged this week with engaging in a sexual act with a child. State records list him as a trustee for New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead. According to an arrest report, the 17-year-old victim told police that Torcise was a leader of the church’s youth group, and fondled him on multiple occasions between June and October. The report said that on Oct. 16, Torcise performed a sex act on the teen and asked that the teen do likewise. The teen said he complied “out of fear,” the report said.

Torcise’s charge, which is punishable by life in prison, does not normally allow for an automatic bond. Still, for reasons that weren’t immediately clear, Torscise was allowed to post a $10,000 bond. He left a Miami-Dade jail late Thursday night.

….

John Priovolos, an attorney for the victim and his family, said Torcise has been a longtime youth leader who leads Bible studies and church trips, primarily with young teenage boys. The victim was one of various boys who’d been hired to work on Torcise’s South Miami-Dade farm, Priovolos said. “People like Torcise prey on the vulnerable. This time, he got more than he bargained for. My client was not too weak. He is strong, and I am proud to represent him,” Priovolos said. “We will not stop until Torcise and anyone who was aware of his despicable conduct is brought to justice. We believe that there may be other victims, and if so, they must know that they are not alone.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jacob Malone Pleads Guilty to Making Terroristic Threats

jacob malone

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Other posts about Jacob Malone: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jacob Malone Plans to Admit He Raped Church Teenager, Black Collar Crime: Judge Rejects Calvary Fellowship Pastor Jacob Malone’s Plea Agreement and Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Jacob Malone Sentenced to 3-6 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

From 2017:

According to the Daily Local News, Jacob Malone, former pastor at Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, plans to “enter a guilty plea to criminal charges brought in the case of a teenager he allegedly raped and impregnated. The Local News article states:

The former pastor at a Uwchlan megachurch intends to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges brought in the case of a teenager he allegedly raped and impregnated, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher of the DA’s Child Abuse Unit told Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody in court that Jacob Matthew “Jake” Malone had made it clear through his attorney that he would plead guilty and be sentenced.

….

Malone, 34, of Exton, is charged with rape, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of children. He has been held on bail in Chester County Prison since his arrest in January 2016 after returning to the United States from Ecuador.

According to police, the victim reported that she had met Malone at a church in Mesa, Arizona, when she was approximately 12 years old. Malone was a pastor at the church that the victim attended. Several years later, in June of 2014, Malone contacted the then 17-year-old victim and invited her to stay with him and his family in Minnesota, where he had become a pastor at a local church.

While in Minnesota, police said, the victim alleged that Malone began trying to have inappropriate contact with her. In July 2014, Malone moved his family to Chester County, where he was starting a new position as a pastor at Calvary Fellowship, a non-denominational church off Route 100. Malone again invited the victim to live with him and his family, and he even registered the victim in a local high school.

The victim, according to police, reported that Malone began sexually assaulting her in the fall of 2014 while she was living at his residence in the unit block of Atherton Drive in Exton and attending Calvary. She was 18 at the time.

The victim reported that Malone provided alcohol to her on two occasions, and that during one of those incidents, the victim alleged that she became highly intoxicated and was molested by Malone.

Amazingly, Malone views his future criminal prosecution and incarceration as an “opportunity” to serve God. Please listen to the following video of Malone’s plea for prayer and understanding in light of the fact that this loving father and man of God got a female church member drunk and had sex with her.

Video Link

You can find more information about this case here.

The New York Daily News reports:

 A suburban Philadelphia pastor accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenager has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three to six years in prison after a judge rejected an earlier plea agreement as too lenient.

Thirty-five-year-old Jacob Malone, of Exton, was sentenced Friday after entering guilty pleas to institutional sex assault, corruption of minors and child endangerment. He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Malone and prosecutors had reached an earlier plea deal that called for a two-year minimum jail term, but Judge Jacqueline Cody rejected that deal a month ago.

Malone was working at Calvary Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Downingtown, when authorities say he began sexually assaulting the girl in the fall of 2014, when she was in her late teens. She gave birth a year ago to their daughter. She maintained he took advantage of her “mentally, physically, spiritually.”

In court, Malone admitted he gave the girl alcohol but said the sexual encounters were consensual. He apologized, saying his “failures and weaknesses” had hurt her, her family and his family.

“She admired me and trusted me, and I betrayed that,” he said.

Cody called the case “one of the times when the court system fails” and said even with the stiffer sentence in the new plea agreement Malone would be “serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves.”

The original charges against Malone included rape. His defense attorney Evan Kelly said in a statement that Malone “has always been adamant” he did not rape the teenager but has admitted to other crimes. “And for that he is embarrassed, ashamed and truly remorseful,” Kelly said.

November 2, 2021

While incarcerated on the aforementioned charges, Malone tried to arrange the murder-for-hire of a judge and key witness in the case against him. Today, Malone pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats.

The Tribune-Democrat reports:

A former Philadelphia-area pastor pleaded guilty Tuesday in Somerset County court, accused of trying to arrange the murders of a judge and key witness in the case against him.

Jacob Matthew Malone, 39, pleaded guilty to terroristic threats, before Judge Scott P. Bittner.

The Somerset County District Attorney’s office withdrew a charge of solicitation to commit criminal homicide as part of the plea deal.

Malone was incarcerated at SCI-Laurel Highlands in Somerset for sex abuse when he allegedly offered to pay a fellow inmate $5,000 to kill the witness. Malone is accused of offering additional money if the inmate also killed Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody, of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Malone was a pastor of Calvary Fellowship, a nondenominational Christian megachurch in Downingtown, Chester County, when police accused him in 2016 of providing alcohol to a 17-year-old girl and molesting her.

He pleaded guilty in 2017 to corruption of minors, institutional sexual assault and endangering the welfare of children, and was sentenced to three to six years in prison, court records indicate.

….

A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Anthony Brooks Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse

pastor anthony brooks

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In 2019, Anthony Brooks, pastor of Jesus House of Believers Worship Center in Florence, Kentucky, was indicted on five counts of first-degree child sexual abuse.

Brooks’ church bio page states:

Pastor Anthony is the Senior Pastor of JHOB-WC Ministries located in the Cincinnati  OH / Lawrenceburg, IN. area. Pastor Anthony began ministering in the year of 1998 to lost souls in the Jackson,Ms. area.  While ministering in Mississippi, it was the year of 1999 when God gave Pastor Anthony a vision with purpose and passion. That vision is Jesus House Of Believers Ministries inc. (JHOB-WC) for a city and area that he himself had only passed though once.

God used Pastor Anthony behind the scenes to minister the restoring message of God’s love, forgiveness and grace to all man and to lead the lost to salvation though Jesus Christ. Ministering to lost souls remains the passion of Pastor Anthony today.

Shortly after Pastor Anthony began ministering to lost souls in the Jackson Ms. area, God relocated Pastor Anthony to Dallas TX. to serve in the area of inner city outreach, specializing in family & Drug counseling where he still specialize. He is also specializing in intercessory prayer leadership and training, church leadership, pastoral leadership, and church planting.  He also served in many areas of ministry, such as outreach ministry , music ministry and youth ministry just to name a few. The love and passion of ministering to lost souls allowed Pastor Anthony to serve, work and learn from some awesome men of God.  From the year of 1998 to 2014 Pastor Anthony held many leadership positions in ministry while the vision of  JHOB-WC ministry was still his life purpose, passion, and promise. On Feb 9, 2010, God spoke on His promise and vision (for Pastor Anthony to write down the vision) along with a date to birth the ministry of JHOB-WC in the very city where he and his Wife Co- pastor Kimberly Brooks and three kids are ministering this very day…

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brooks was released on a $5,000 cash bond. That’s right $5,000.  The judge who released Brooks on such a low bail ought to ashamed of himself. Nothing says, “we don’t take sexual abuse seriously,” as letting alleged abusers out of jail without making them post substantial bail. I suspect Brooks got the “preacher’s discount.”  Some members of law enforcement and the judiciary have a hard time believing men of God could do such things. However, as the Black Collar Crime series makes clear, clergymen can and do take sexual advantage of children and adults. They should be afforded the same harsh treatment as the rest of us when accused of serious sexual crimes against children. Brooks is certainly innocent until proven guilty, but prosecutors don’t bring such cases before grand juries without credible evidence that a crime has been committed. And if Brooks did indeed commit these crimes, it is certainly possible that this victim was not his first. And that’s why alleged abusers should be given high enough bail to keep them behind bars until law enforcement can see if there are other victims.

In January 2020, Brooks was sentenced to two 3-year prison terms to be served consecutively.

WLWT-5 reported at the time:

A Florence pastor will spend six years in prison for sexually abusing an underage girl.

Anthony Brooks was the lead pastor at Jesus House of Believers Worship Center in Florence.

Investigators say the alleged abuse happened over the last three years, approximately. The alleged abuse happened at a home within Boone County limits but not in the city of Florence, according to deputies. They have no evidence suggesting any crimes were committed on the church property.

Brooks was indicted by a grand jury in February and arrested in mid-March.

WLWT sat down exclusively with Brooks’ wife while the case worked its way through the court. She told us her husband was “totally innocent” and the victim was “manipulating the system.”

“We know that my husband is an innocent man. We know that, as a taxpayer of the county, I thought for sure you’re supposed to uphold the law for me and to help me, not to send an innocent man to jail,” said Brooks’ wife, Stephanie.

Initially, Brooks was indicted on five counts of sexual abuse. He agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

According to a comment on the original post about Brooks, he died earlier this year. I was unable to find any online verification of this claim.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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(Updated) Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Frank Lenz Accused of Sexual Misconduct

frank lenz

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Frank Lenz, a retired Catholic priest, stands accused of sexual misconduct.

UpNorthLive reports:

A northern Michigan priest is on administrative leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.

According to the Diocese of Marquette, Father Frank M. Lenz, a senior (retired) priest with the Diocese is being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor dating back to the 1970s.

Records show Father Lenz has denied the allegation.

The Diocese said Father Lenz has been removed from all public priestly ministry and prohibited from presenting himself as a priest in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Diocese said this is not a final determination of guilt. Administrative leave is a precautionary measure while a credible allegation is being investigated.

“On behalf of the Catholic Church, I offer a sincere apology to all victims of clergy abuse,” said Bishop Doerfler. “There is no excuse for what happened to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am willing to journey with you to find Christ’s peace and healing.”

Bishop Doerfler encourages anyone who may have suffered sexual misconduct by clergy, a church worker or volunteer to come forward to receive pastoral care leading toward healing. [ Yes, right after you report your allegations to law enforcement.]

….

WNMU-FM adds:

The action against Father Frank Lenz was taken because of a recently-made credible allegation of misconduct with a minor in the 1970s. Lenz has denied the claim.

The allegation has been reported to law enforcement and the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office. Lenz has been removed from all public priestly ministry and prohibited from presenting himself as a priest, in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese says administrative leave is a precautionary measure while a credible allegation is being investigated.

Lenz was ordained in June of 1969 and retired to Senior Priest status in 2007.

Diocese Bishop John Doerfler responded by saying, “On behalf of the Catholic Church, I offer a sincere apology to all victims of clergy abuse. There is no excuse for what happened to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am willing to journey with you to find Christ’s peace and healing.” [Sorry Bishop, but if you have been paying attention of late, offers of thoughts and prayers no longer suffice.]

….

Update:

In October 2020, TV-6 reported:

A Church tribunal has determined an accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in the early 1970s against Father Frank M. Lenz is inconclusive. A canonical (Church law) process authorized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) was unable to establish guilt or innocence to the standard of moral certainty in the case.

The accusation was received by the Diocese of Marquette in early 2018. At the time, Father Lenz, a senior (retired) priest of the diocese was put on administrative leave effective immediately. In accord with diocesan policy, the allegation was reported to the Marquette County Prosecutor.

Following review of the accusation by civil authorities, the case was forwarded to the CDF, which authorized the bishop of Marquette to establish a special tribunal to adjudicate the case. Canon lawyers from outside the diocese heard the case.

Father Lenz has continued to deny the allegation.

From the time of the accusation, Father Lenz was removed from all public ministry and prohibited from presenting himself as a priest in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

In light of the tribunal’s decision, Father Lenz is returned to ministry with strict limitations in place by Bishop John Doerfler, which include prohibiting him from priestly ministry in parishes and schools.

NPR Story on Mack Ford, Sexual Abuse, and New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, Louisiana

mack ford new bethany home for girls
Mack Ford, Bethany Home for Girls, a Lester Roloff disciple and ritual child abuser. He is now rotting in the grave.

Repost from 2015-2016. Edited, updated, and corrected.

What follows is an NPR Morning Edition story titled Finding Strength In Shared Stories Of Childhood Sexual Abuse, featuring my friends Jo Wright and Tara Cummings:

New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., opened in the early 1970s as a religious reform school for, as its founder said, “the incorrigible, unwanted rejects” who “haven’t been loved and haven’t had a chance in life.”

Over the next three decades, law enforcement officials repeatedly investigated claims of physical and psychological child abuse at the school.

Joanna Wright was 16 years old when she first arrived at New Bethany in the 1970s. She says she had been sexually abused as a child and hoped the school would be a refuge. But she says when she got there, she was raped by the man in charge of the school.

“I thought something was really wrong with me, that I must be a really bad person because this keeps happening to me in life,” Joanna told Tara Cummings, who came to New Bethany when she was 12, in a StoryCorps interview. “I started to think, ‘How could I dismember my body and spread the pieces around so that God couldn’t find me and put me back together to punish me?’ “

The two spoke in 2016 at Joanna’s home in Cypress, Texas.

“I used to wish that I would come back as a cotton ball or a Coke can, completely inanimate so I could feel nothing,” Tara said.

The women attended the school at different times, but they crossed paths when women began speaking up about the abuse they say they endured at New Bethany.

Several women who attended the school have come forward in recent years alleging abuse — including sexual, physical and psychological — by the same man.

Joanna, now 58, and Tara, now 47, were part of a group of women who in 2014 testified in front of a grand jury that the man who ran the school abused them. In January 2015, the grand jury did not indict him, The Times-Picayune reported at the time. He died the following month. NPR is not naming him because he cannot respond to the accusations. While he was alive, he repeatedly denied any kind of abuse at the school.

The school closed in 2001. Over the years, Joanna told people of the abuse, the first being her father. He made her take a lie detector test, she says.

I always wondered, ‘What do people see in me that makes them think it’s OK to abuse me?’ And that was something that I carried even into adulthood,” Joanna said.

“It put a fear in me that I’ve never shaken. I don’t know that I ever will. You know, I always thought, ‘There has to be other girls, I can’t be the only one.’ And so I’ve always blabbed about it,” she says.

Tara, on the other hand, kept quiet about the abuse.

“I was a really good liar. Always being the preacher’s kid and putting on a perfect front. I think I was trying to move on. But to get out of the hiding was a game changer for me,” she said.

Tara says Joanna helped her learn how to stop hiding.

“I know you don’t believe in divine path,” she told Joanna, “but I was at a fork in the road. And knowing you has changed my life.”

Transcript

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser